Singularities will be performed as part of Creative Hull

Don’t miss this exciting digital turned physical international collaboration between Hull Dance and Lithuanian dance theatre Okarukas.

Dancers from the region have been invited to participate in a series of online Butoh workshops as part of an international artistic and educational collaborative project between Hull Dance in the UK and Lithuanian dance theatre Okarukas.

The introductory workshops have now moved into an intensive build-up for a final performance on Saturday 17 July, during a weekend of cultural celebration as part of Creative Hull.

Those taking part include adult community dancers, emerging dancers, and writers who will work in partnership with the theatre company and its students.

The second stage will see a final performance “Singularities” created in Butoh style, to reflect the intimate, social and artistic experiences resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Holly, an emerging dance artist, said: “It has been a pleasure to be able to share knowledge with such an experienced Butoh dance company. I am inspired by how movement can bring us together over the continent despite such tight restrictions in place around the world.”

Len, a local community dancer noted that dancing on Zoom at this level was a whole new experience: “It’s somewhere between dancing on your own and dancing in a class. I lose some connection with other dancers, but I gain some freedom.”

Becky, a local dancer said the discipline of Butoh is a challenging addition to any dancer’s repertoire: “I feel very lucky to get the chance to learn from Sakurako San in Lithuania. Pre-Zoom days this wouldn’t have been possible, but now learning Butoh in my bedroom is awesome. Thank you Hull Dance for making it happen.”

Working for a second time with the dance community in Hull, after a spectacular performance at Transgressions in 2019, founders Sakurako, Phil Von and the team will initially unite with communities in Hull digitally to explore the Japanese dance style. It enriches contemporary dance and theatre techniques by creating unique movements with distinct aesthetics and philosophy, typically surrounding slow motion and stillness.

Lithuanian-born visual artist Sakurako said: “This is the first time working this way, but it is rather amazing how it is still possible to transmit and share energy online, to experience intensity and presence without actually being present in the same space.

Reflecting on the concept for the final piece, Sakurako added: “Singularities is a very rich concept with several possible interpretations, which opens unique perceptions on human nature, loaded with fascination and fear with technologies and artificial intelligence.

“We will create a virtual laboratory, space for sharing, where we can brainstorm, discuss, learn from each other and inspire each other. Both Hull and Lithuanian teams will participate together in creating the piece, bringing their unique colours togethers.”

WHEN: Final performance: Saturday 17 July as part of Creative Hull

WHERE: Location to be confirmed – stay tuned!